F/F Books with Disabled Characters (Lesbian Book Bingo #19)

Much too often, the characters in lesbian books, especially in romance novels, are all too perfect. They have perfect looks, perfect jobs, perfect health, perfect everything. That’s just not a realistic representation of our lives.

So for this square of the Lesbian Book Bingo, we’re focusing on novels featuring characters with a disability. It can be a physical disability, a chronic illness, or a mental disorder.

If you need to brush up on the rules of Lesbian Book Bingo, check out the rules post.

15 GREAT F/F BOOKS FEATURING CHARACTERS WITH A DISABILITY

I’ve put together a list of 15 women-loving-women books about disabled characters I hope you’ll enjoy.

Rain Falls_Kelli Jae Baeli

Rain Falls (Rain Falls series, book 1) by Kelli Jae Baeli (main character uses crutches)

Two women. One, a freelance writer, editor and sci-fi author, who is also an emotionally unavailable and closeted lesbian. The other, a disabled romantic lesbian fiction writer, who believes no one will ever love her. In a writing cabin outside the tourist town of Rain Falls, Colorado, the two struggle with the temptation and absurdities their situation inspires.

Available at:
Amazon

Making a Comeback_Julie Blair

Making a Comeback by Julie Blair (blind character)

Jazz pianist Liz Randall is reeling from her wife’s death and struggling to keep their band together. An invitation to play at the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival is an opportunity she can’t turn down, and a challenge she might not be up to until she enlists the help of a mysterious neighbor who’s surprisingly knowledgeable about jazz. When Jac Winters reluctantly agrees to help, a past she wants to forget threatens to destroy the carefully ordered life she’s built with her guide dog, Max. Will Liz and Jac play it safe or risk everything on making a comeback?

Available at:
Bold Strokes Books
Amazon
Apple iBooks
Audible (audio book)

Far From Home_Lorelie Brown

Far From Home by Lorelie Brown (character with an eating disorder)

My name is Rachel. I’m straight . . . I think. I also have a mountain of student loans and a smart mouth. I wasn’t serious when I told Pari Sadashiv I’d marry her. It was only party banter! Except Pari needs a green card, and she’s willing to give me a breather from drowning in debt.

Available at:
Riptide Publishing
Amazon
Apple iBooks

Reluctant Hope_Erin Dutton

Reluctant Hope by Erin Dutton (cancer survivor)

Cancer survivor Addison Hunt knows she can’t offer any guarantees, in love or in life, and after experiencing a loss of her own, Brooke Donahue isn’t willing to risk her heart. But spending time together while working on a project to raise money and awareness for cancer research has them both questioning their convictions.

Available at:
Bold Strokes Books
Amazon
Apple iBooks

Mending Defects Cover

Mending Defects by Lynn Galli (character with a heart condition)

Small town life for Glory Eiben has always been her ideal. With her rare congenital heart defect, keeping family and friends close by preserves her easygoing attitude. When Lena Coleridge moves in next door, life becomes anything but easy. Lena is a reluctant transplant and even more reluctant friend. Their growing friendship adds many layers to Glory’s ideal.

Available at:
Amazon

Just Physical_Jae

Just Physical (Hollywood series) by Jae (character with multiple sclerosis)

After being diagnosed with MS, actress Jill takes herself off the romantic market. On the set of a disaster movie, she meets stunt woman Crash, whose easy smile makes her wish things were different. Despite their growing feelings, Jill is determined to let Crash into her bed, but not her heart. As they start to play with fire on and off camera, will they be able to keep things just physical?

Available at:
Ylva Publishing
Amazon
Apple iBooks

The Loudest Silence_Olivia Janae

The Loudest Silence (Part One) by Olivia Janae (deaf character)

Kate, an up and coming cellist, is new to Chicago and the Windy City chamber ensemble. During her first rehearsal, she is surprised and intrigued to meet Vivian Kensington, the formidable board president who also happens to be deaf. As she develops a tentative friendship with her cold-hearted boss, she begins to wonder if it’s possible for two women, one from a world of sound and one a world of silence, to truly understand each other?

Available at:
Heartsome Publishing
Amazon
Apple iBooks

Trapped Blonde Girl

Locked Inside by Annette Mori (character with locked-in syndrome)

How much does the power of love matter to someone who has overcome obstacles greater than most people face in a lifetime? Carly, a beautiful and vivacious young woman, sees something in the semi-comatose Belinda and they form an unusual bond. Can Carly help Belinda break free from her emotional prison?

Available at:
Affinity Rainbow Publications
Amazon
Apple iBooks

Frame by Frame_CJ Murphy

Frame by Frame by CJ Murphy (character with PTSD)

Valkyrie (Val) Magnusson, a former Marine photographer, injured while covering a goodwill mission with Iraqi children. Haunted by flashbacks, Val travels the country as a photographer for Rider magazine. A self-proclaimed nomad, Val has little inclination to settle down. Something or rather someone keeps calling her back to a little tourist trap called Cool Springs in rural West Virginia. 

Available at:
Desert Palm Press
Amazon
Apple iBooks

Wounded Souls_RJ Nolan

Wounded Souls by RJ Nolan (character with a lower leg amputation)

Dr. Ashlee Logan has spent the last two years on the road with only her Great Dane as a companion, trying to escape her past. While serving her country, former Navy doctor Dale Parker had her life shattered in a single moment. LA Metropolitan Hospital brings the two women together. Can they overcome their pasts and find happiness together, or are they forever destined to be…Wounded Souls?

Available at:
Ylva Publishing
Amazon
Apple iBooks

Battle Scars_Meghan O'Brien

Battle Scars by Meghan O’Brien (character with PTSD)

Returning Iraq war veteran Ray McKenna struggles with battle scars that can only be healed by love. Ray McKenna returns from the war in Iraq to find that she had attained unwanted celebrity status back home. As the only surviving American soldier of a well-publicized hostage crisis, she is the center of attention at a time when all she wants is solitude.

Available at:
Bold Strokes Books
Amazon
Apple iBooks
Audible (audio book)

Five Feet or Less_Erik Schubach

Five Feet or Less by Erik Schubach (main character uses a wheelchair)

Reese is a programmer and tech geek who was confined to a wheelchair at a young age.  Since then she has locked herself away from the outside in her virtual world. Until a chance meeting with an ex-punk rocker girl, Sarah, who teaches her that her world is not defined in five feet or less.

Available at:
Amazon
Apple iBooks
Audible (audio book)

Up the Ante_PJ Trebelhorn

Up the Ante by PJ Trebelhorn (character with MS)

Jordan Stryker’s multiple sclerosis diagnosis changed her life. She left the FBI and decided to try her hand at professional poker. She’s played poker for years, but no amount of practice could have prepared her for what she’d face in Las Vegas away from the tables—Ashley Noble, the woman she had an affair with fifteen years ago, long before her diagnosis.

Available at:
Bold Strokes Books
Amazon
Apple iBooks

Blindsided_Karis Walsh

Blindsided by Karis Walsh (blind character)

Guide dog trainer Lenae McIntyre left the high-speed world of television news writing behind, and now she helps other visually impaired people adjust to life with their canine companions. Cara Bradley compensates for her family’s shallow celebrity lifestyle by devoting her life to helping others, while keeping to the background. When Cara gets roped into puppy walking one of Lenae’s young dogs, their lives become intertwined with more tangles than Pickwick’s leash.

Available at:
Bold Strokes Books
Amazon
Apple iBooks
Audible (audio book)

Don't Let Go_Sheryl Wright

Don’t Let Go by Sheryl Wright (character with traumatic brain injury & PTSD)

Tyler quickly realizes Georgie is not the damaged goods everyone sees. She recognizes something special in Georgie DiNamico, garnering trust, loyalty, and something more…something Tyler hasn’t thought about for a very, very long time.

Available at:
Bella Books
Amazon
Apple iBooks

If you haven’t done so already, download your bingo card, pick the book you want to read for the “disabled character” square, and start reading! Remember that you can either read one of the 15 books listed above or pick another f/f book featuring a character with a disability.

Lesbian Book bingo giveaway: Win a book by leaving a comment

For the Disabled Character square, I’m giving away an e-book copy of:

  • Just Physical by Jae
  • Blindsided by Karis Walsh
  • Locked Inside by Annette Mori

Anyone can enter. To be entered into the drawing, leave a comment on this blog and let us know which book you’re going to read for the “disabled character” square or if you can think of other lesbian books that fit this category.

Entries close on Thursday, September 27, 2018, 10 a.m. CET, when I’ll draw the winners using a random numbers generator. I’ll notify winners via email. Your email address won’t be used for any other purpose.

Subscribe to this blog so you won’t miss the next book bingo post

The reading list for the next bingo square—books with butch/femme couples—will be posted on October 4. Subscribe to my blog so you won’t miss it. There’ll be another giveaway too!

Happy reading!
Jae

64 thoughts on “F/F Books with Disabled Characters (Lesbian Book Bingo #19)”

  1. I would just like to add in from my own top 10 book of favorites… Music of the Soul by Erik Schubach. ^_^ Also have already read Just Physical and The Loudest Silence from this list, both of which were fantastic.

    But as for what I shall pick hmm… probably going to try something new and perhaps choose ‘Locked Inside’. Sounds interesting.

  2. This is a very interesting category. I can see there are good titles. I must admit so far I’ve only read Just Physical, love the book. Jill is a great lovable character. I’m looking forward to read some of the other books listed here. Thank you for the recommendations

  3. I read The Loudest Silence for this square and loved it.

    I was also wondering if anyone had any suggestions for books involving a character with autism?

    • I believe The Rules of love by Cara Malone is one about Asperger. Haven’t read it yet so I can’t tell you if it’s good or not.
      And someone told me about Flight SQA016 by A.E. Radley, but I’m not really sure if it’s specifically about a form of autism or some other form of socially awkwardness (also haven’t read it yet.. I do know that it ends abrubtly but there is a sequel).
      I suspect it’s a little bit like Who’d Have Thought by Benson where they don’t really put a label on it, but like I said I haven’t read it yet.

      • I have read the Flight series and while her difficulties are compared with autism she doesn’t have, nor wishes to have, a diagnosis since she doesn’t believe it would make a difference for her. I still enjoyed the story a lot and the portrayal of her difficulties was good so you should give it a shot.

        Thanks for pointing me forward The Rules of Love I will give it a chance.

    • Ooh.. and I believe there is a character with Asperger in All The Love Songs (Nicole Pyland) as well. It’s on top of my TBR pile, but haven’t started with it yet.

    • The plot of Molly, House on Fire revolves around a young man with Asperger. He isn’t the character involved in the romance aspect of this novel so it doesn’t qualify for this square, but I thought it was excellent with it’s description of the disability.

  4. Sheridan’s Fate by Gun Brooke is what I read for this square. Thanks for the additional reads. I love the fantasy of everyone is perfect, but I enjoy the reality of everyday people overcoming and finding their love/purpose.

  5. Hi everyone !!

    In this category I put “Love’s Melody Lost” by Radclyffe (BSB) [one of the main characters became blind after an accident]

    But I could have put :

    ° “The Long Way Home” by Roslyn Bane (Desert Palm Press)

    ° “Battle Scars” by Meghan O’Brien (BSB)

    or even

    ° “Just Physical” (Hollywood series) by Jae (Ylva Publishing) as well since I’ve read all of them this year …

    ++++++++++

    Oh … “Locked Inside” by Annette Mori … I don’t have this one yet … (it’s still in my “must-be-purshased”-list

    About the giveaway : Good luck all !!!

  6. I really loved “just

    I really loved “Just Physical”/
    ” Affaire bis Drehschluss”.

    “The Loudest Silence” caught my attention.

  7. There are some wonderful books on this list! My favorite from those I’ve read is “Just Physical.” “Making a Comeback” and “Blindsided” were also wonderful books, and I enjoyed “Battle Scars” and “Five Feet or Less.” I see a few more I’d like to read…as well as one or two that have been on my Kindle, untouched as of yet…

  8. I read just about all of the above!! “Coffee sonata” is another good one. I will read “Blind Sided”, as that is the only one I have not read. Excellent list!!

  9. I read Ambereye by Gill McKnight for this category and can also suggest So Lucky by Nicola Griffith, Repercussions by Jessica L Webb, and Just My Luck by Andrea Bramhall for this square.
    So many great books on Jae’s list above too; the ones I haven’t yet read will go on my ever growing ‘to be read’ list. :)

  10. Fragmented by Eliza Lentzski is also a great book for this category. One of the main characters is partially paralyzed from a car accident and is in a wheelchair. The relationship build is sweet and sexy while both characters work through their challenges.

  11. @ Caroline The Rulebook Series by Cara Malone, which I love, the main character Max has Asperger’s. I have the complete 3 book series. =D

  12. I know you didn’t write these synopses, so this is just a PSA: “confined to a wheelchair” is something clueless abled people say. Disabled people don’t like the phrase much. Wheelchairs do the opposite of “confining”: they help people go places.

  13. I have read “Sheridan’s Fate” by Gun Brooke, “Loves Melody Lost” by Radclyffe, and “Long Way Home” by Roslyn Bane. I would love to read any of the others as well. I will add the other recommendations, on JAE’s list, to my ‘to be read list!

  14. I’ve read all but five on the list and enjoyed them all. The Loudest Silence is on my Reader, so I’ll use it for my card.
    I’d also add Lynette Mae’s ‘Rebound’ for this category.

  15. Rebound by Lynette Mae. I can’t believe I didn’t see this one anywhere on here until the last post! I’ve read it a few times and again for this square.

  16. Blindsided by Karis Walsh. I also want to read Just Physical, but need to read Departure from the Script first (I already read Damage Control). Happy reading!

  17. I would love to be able to buy Lesbian books with autistic characters. Since our issues aren’t visible we get ignored when people think about writing on disabled people.

    • If you haven’t already you can look to my comment above. I asked for suggestions for characters with autism and got quite a few responses back with suggestions.

  18. I’m delighted and thankful that lesfic has been at the forefront of providing greater diversity in books. Good representation is important, and it enriches our societies. I don’t mean to be the terminology police, and I suppose this might apply mainly to my region of the US, but it’s generally encouraged to use people-first language like “person with a disability” and “character with a disability” instead of identity-first language like “disabled person” or “disabled character.” Admittedly, I’m sensitive to the matter: several of my family members have epilepsy, and when I was younger, my asthma was recognized as a disability, which is not the experience of most people who have asthma. There are people with disabilities who don’t have issues with using identity-first terminology; certain terminology sometimes sticks out to me, that’s all.

    I’ll start my reading for this square with “Blindsided” by Karis Walsh, “Wounded Souls” by RJ Nolan and “Making a Comeback” by Julie Blair. They all mention animal companions and I’m curious as to how that aspect is woven into each narrative. I’ll add other books from the list to my TBR pile too. However, I’ll avoid Eric Schubach’s book because the cover and blurb seem very ableist. Not sure about Annette Mori’s book for a similar reason.

    • You are completely right. I didn’t mean to reduce complex people to the disability they live with. The only reason I named the category the way I did is because I was looking for a term that fit into the tiny square of the bingo card, with space left over for readers to add the title of the book they read for the category. Thanks for commenting!

      • Thank you, Jae. People-first vs identity-first language is a multilayered discussion. Hope I didn’t come across as preachy or accusatory because my only aim was to help increase awareness. I appreciate your efforts to expand readers’ experiences with lesbian fiction by highlighting the different representations of our lives as depicted on the written page. I don’t know if you have plans to continue Lesbian Book Bingo annually or again in the future, but I hope that you do. You’re one of the rare authors who routinely supports other authors and talent in the LGBT+ community.

        • No, you didn’t come across as preachy at all. Educating and increasing awareness is always a good thing, so thanks for commenting. I tried to make the book bingo as diverse as possible within our genre to broaden readers’ horizons.

          I do want to continue Lesbian Book Bingo, but since I spent 400 hours on it so far, I’ll need to take a break in 2019, but will probably run it again in 2020.

          • You spent 400 hours creating & orchestrating Lesbian Book Bingo AND edited books for other authors AND you released more than one stellar novel this year yourself? Are you a Hogwarts graduate? That’s some serious magic right there! Thank you for your dedication to creating and supporting LGBT+ fiction, Jae.

  19. Seeing as i finally got some free time i am gonna dive into my copy of the loudest silence , though i must say after reading the intro to Just Physical i can’t wait to get my hands on that one either.

  20. I read Roll With Me by Elizabeth Andre for this square, and really enjoyed it. It’s a very short read, but good. Locked Inside looks like a good pick, also. I’m interested to see how the relationship develops with one character in a coma.

  21. I read Love’s Melody Lost by Radclyffe for this category but also enjoyed Just Physical as mentioned above. Both are great books and I can only recommend them.

  22. I just discovered this series and Lesbian Book Bingo. I’ll read Just Physical. I lived 12 years with a wonderful woman who has Multiple Sclerosis. Sadly, she now lives in a nursing home and has a form of dementia (as well as MS brain lesions.

  23. I want to read something new- I have Making a comeback so I think I will read that.
    A couple of ones I have read is Rain Falls love that whole series, 5 feet or less is good and not on the list is Give Me a Reason -Lyn Gardner. fantastic book on PTSD.

  24. i love that u have made a list of books with people with dissabilitys as i was born with a dissability and its good read charcters that i can relate too

  25. So far I’ve read Rebound by Lynette Mae in which most of the characters are disabled because it focuses on a wheelchair basketball team; Sheryl Wright – Don’t Let Go; and Gun Brooke – Sheridan’s Fate. I just finished Annette Mori – Unconventional Lovers which is a sweet romance about two young women with Down syndrome. Just Physical, Blindsided, and Mending Defects are among several of my favorite books. Virgin Territory by Kenna White is another excellent story.

  26. I just finished Ambereye by Gill McKnight on recommendation from one of the comments. It was a really good book! This bingo thing’s introducing me to so many new authors!

  27. I read At All Costs by Micheala Lynn earlier this year. I loved Blindsided by Karis Walsh when it first came out. Maybe it’s time for a re-read.

  28. Earlier this year, I read Take Your Medicine by Hannah Carmack (vasovagal syncope) and
    Trail Magic by Cara Malone (breast cancer survivor). They were both really good! I’m disabled and tend to be drawn to disabled characters because I relate to them more.

  29. Fragmented by Eliza Lentzski. I learned a lot about being paralyzed from the waist down, and what that can mean, along with what it doesn’t mean! Thanks for organizing this Lesbian Bingo…it’s really fun!

  30. I just finished Waltzing on the Danube. One of the main characters has OCD and anxiety. Cute book. It’s always fun reading books that take place in different places around the world.

  31. True Colours: Book 1 of the TJ & Mare Series and Many Roads To Travel: Book 2 in The TJ & Mare Series also fit this category too.

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